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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  December 7, 2010 3:00pm-5:00pm EST

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all the other democrats if he's right and essentially defiantly answering critics on the left by saying, i think i'm right, too bad. >> gloria, stand by for a moment. i want to pay a clip of what the president said and then david gergen to assess. go ahead. >> i make my judgments based on what i think is right for the country and for the american people right now. and i will be happy to see the republicans test whether or not i'm itching for a fight on a whole range of issues. i suspect they will find i am. and i think the american people will be on my side on a whole bunch of these fights. >> david gergen, how did he do? >> it's very strange, very unusual thing for a president to be in this position. from my point of view he was fundamentally right on the merits. he had to have a compromise. he had to extend all of these tax cuts in order not to put a damper on the economy. but even as he made the
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compromise essentially often what a president had to do he lost the argument. the negotiations have become so bollock that he looks like he's weak and got this rebellion going on. from his political point of view it is very much like the health care fight. he got the bill but lost the argument. i think that's a hard way to practice politics and it leave him in a weakened position going forward with a party that is clearly on the edge of rebellion. >> let me bring gloria borger in. >> i think this president is making a bet that the american public is more interested in him as being the grownup tri-angulating if you will, a little bill clinton here and saying to the american public, i am on your side. i did this for you. i cannot be sanctimonious. i am not going to play these political games. he was clearly very angry at the left flank of his own party. but i think their argument here inside the white house is, okay,
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this is a president who's going to be independent and he's going to try and get things done and not play games and he's going to take on republicans as he said over and over again. he's going to be weakened by his left flank. but you know what, bill clinton got reelected by doing exactly what we saw today. >> hold on a second, roland because i want to play this clip first. the president at one point suggested that the republicans were playing the middle class hostage and said the republicans were like hostage-takers. i want to play this little clip. >> i've said before that i felt that the middle class tax cuts were being held hostage to the high-end tax cuts. i think it's tempting not to negotiate with hostage-takers. unless the hostage gets harmed. >> roland is here. ed rollins is here. let me get to ed first. how do you feel when the president suggest s. the gop are like hostage-takers? >> i thought the statement was
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outrageous. first of all, we have never been for raising taxes on anybody, middle class, upper class or what have you. this was a comprehensive tax plan a long time ago and all the rhetoric about the shortfall, the shortfall is because there's too much spending. not raising people's taxes doesn't cost anybody anything. the spending on all of this which we went along with is the additional unemployment which is not being paid for, the 2% reduction in payroll taxts which i happen to support which i think helps stimulate the economy. still that puts a shortfall. so i think at the end of the day if he wants the fight, he's going to get the fight. but i think the bottom line is he can't misrepresent republicans. republicans have never been about raising taxes. they were the ones that broke this bill up. this bill was either all or nothing and we basically said we're not going to raise taxes. >> you talk about getting facts straight. the congressional budget office made perfectly clear if it were not nor the bush cuts from 2001 to 2005 we would have a surplus and not a deficit. so again you can talk about -- >> no, no.
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>> that's the reality. >> the spending went on. it's not a reality. the money has not -- the money has been spent. >> ed, we had three levels of spending coming out of 9/11, wars in iraq and afghanistan -- >> and that cost money. >> and the largest contributor to the deficit were the tax cuts. to this point the president made. he talked about -- he said quote with a purist position and no victories for the american people addressing the left. earlier in the very same news conference he talked about republicans their position on this being the holy grail. well, guess what. they got exactly what they wanted. so it seems to me on the republican side they maintain a purist position and it called the president to have to back down. >> 30 days ago there was the election and this case was made to the public. we won 63 seats. we won 6 seats. if the democrats would have won the congress this whole thing would have been a moot question. >> also 30 days ago you and republicans -- you and the conservatives were talking about the deficit being most important. >> still important. >> and here we have a compromise that is going to add $900
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billion to the deficit and i don't hear the tea party. i don't hear anybody saying a word about that when it comes to the deficit. so it's like that somehow has blown away. >> but that's where the president can put the republicans on the spot. because in the state of the union address he can come out and say, you know what, phase two. we've spent all this money and essentially done the second stimulus package. now we have to talk about deficit reduction and reforming the tax code and maybe both. >> the president kept saying repeatedly that his major goal is making sure the economy recovers. the way to do that is to get people to start spending money. if you presumably give people more money, reduce the taxes, they'll spend it. that could stimulate the economy. there could be economic growth which would bring in greater revenue into the treasury. i assume you agree he has a good point there. >> well, there are two ways. this is a 180-degree turn from where we were a year ago. back then there was one
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philosophy that you stimulate the economy especially when consumers are not engaged and businesses aren't spending. the government steps in with the stimulus bill which was roughly the same size. you let the money trickle down into people's hands and they have more money and it stimulates demand. for all of the people who said that didn't work, it did work. it did create jobs and for month after month the last few months we have seen increased demand and jobs being created. but somehow the republicans decided that didn't work so we're going to try this other business of not cutting people's taxes. i just want to remind everybody. tax rates that the republicans were arguing for are staying the same. what you are going to see is some other cuts the president didn't support. the president has cover here. because if this doesn't work he can go in and say now we've deepened the hole and it didn't achieve what we have wanted. i'm a little suspicious this may not work as well as republicans wanted it to. there is a reason businesses are staying on the sidelines and not investing their money and i'm not sure this is going to get this done. but the bottom line is the
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president has gone along with it. ed henry at the white house, he was in that room. the president stayed far away in fact from the financial decisions, the financial discussion in this. he did not defend at all his decision to go ahead with the republicans except for the political decision to get this done without further fallout. he made it very clear he's never going to be able to be held to this decision by saying he agreed to extend the tax cuts to the highest income earners. >> reporter: it was fascinating to watch him say i've got the american people on my side. he said, i've seen the polls as we've been talking about in recent days that show a clear majority of americans are behind the notion at least if not behind him -- behind the notion that the tax cuts for the rich should expire, the tax cuts for the middle class should move forward. he insisted at one point this is not a failure of my leadership or failure of me failing to communicate that to the american people. they get that. obviously there are democrats on the hill watching that wondering why in the world are we caving
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in to the republicans you just mentioned if in fact the american people are behind this point of view. i also thought it was interesting he sort of had kind of a slow start and then building and building. that last answer was the most fascinating of all. he got fired up. you could feel it in the room where he was almost having this open conversation about the war within his own party, about essentially saying, look, there are some people in my party if you go all the way back to the health care debate who will not be satisfied unless we get 100%. he's trying to make the case 50%, 60% is going to be good enough. clearly there are people in hills party who still don't buy it. >> he was quite focused on that. at some point it steered away from being a press conference and was veering into speech territory. he also made some comments about collateral damage. listen in. >> i will continue to fight before the american people to make the point that the republican position is wrong.
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now, if there was not collateral damage, if this was just a matter of my politics or being able to persuade the american people to my side, then i would just stick to my guns. >> dana bash, congressional correspondent, at capitol hill on this. dana, this press conference was so squarely aimed not at republicans, not at the opposition, at democrats who are saying the president made a deal with the devil. do you think they got that message? >> reporter: no, i don't think they got that message and in large part at least whether he it comes to senate democrats, they were actually in a meeting as he began to speak with his vice president, with joe biden. i can tell you that the senate majority leader harry reid came out and talked to reporters while president obama was speaking and he announced to reporters that there probably will have to be some changes made to this deal. he actually said -- this is the democratic leader in the senate -- i am not a big fan of what has been announced. it was very clear in talking to
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many, many democratic senators going into the meeting. not just liberals but also moderate democrats. very interesting there. moderate democrats who said they have problems with this on a whole host of issues. but the fact that harry reid is saying they're not going forward until they talk to the white house and talk to republicans about making some changes shows that this is -- it's not just sound and fury if you will, that there are real issues here when it comes to getting the votes. >> dana, you've put a light on something thaths back to t.a.r.p., goes back to the stimulus bill and goes back to everything that's ever been discussed, the president discussing it like it's a fait accompli with that deal. this still has to go through congress and harry reid saying it may well involve changes. wolf. >> ali, thank you. and john king, that would be quite a bombshell if in fact -- this is supposed to be a take it or lev it kind of deal. they've negotiated carefully with the republican leadership. you either accept it or reject it. if harry reid is now saying we're going to start tinkering
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with this and opening parts of it, this whole thing could still collapse. >> it absolutely could collapse. if it's a minor tweak, they'll have a conversation. if you're talking about a fundamental policy shift, the republicans agreed to this. the one thing the republicans gave up is not paying for the unemployment insurance. they wanted to offset it someone else. all the republicans i've talked to said this is the deal, this is the deal, this is the deal. if it's a little tinker maybe they get away with it but anything big won't get away with it. if this collapses then the president is forced by people in his own party into another negotiation, into this fight. but the tensions right now -- there's a short term, the immediate short term focus is the tension in the democratic party, how does this president manage them. the president trying to make the point he's looking at the longer view. if the economy starts to recover, everyone will forget this day and he benefits. in the short term a fascinating drama between the democratic president -- ed had it right -- he's in a fight with his own party. >> john avlon in new york.
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he wants to weigh in as well. what did you think of the president, especially the final summation, the final arguments he made in the final two or three or four minutes of his statement? >> that last question was fascinating. that deserves on a obama high light reel. it showed a president who was strong and defiant and making a case he had a responsibility beyond partisan politics. that seemed to be the theme throughout the press conference, that he is the last adult in washington. when everyone else is engaging in bargaining he's watching out for the american people and not going to let them get caught in collateral damage. it was a strong president, a decisive and defiant president and that last question he made the good for the incremental change. that was quite a statement. >> hold on. roland, i know you want to weigh in. >> what does it say though when the president says at a news conference that the american people were with me poll after poll after poll, yet he was unable to rally the american people to move the republicans
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in congress? so i get your whole point about leadership in a news conference. but also if you're saying they're with me and you can't rally them to get them to move, how are they really with you? >> hes making the point that this is not simply about polls. this is about the best deal you can get done in the time allotted. and he made the point and i think this is one of the things democrats will use against him, that the american people are on the democrats' side, not necessarily the republicans absolute tax increase for everybody. maybe a compromise that could have worked is the chuck schumer compromise keeping taxes for everyone under a million. but at the moment that's academic. he's making the point this is not about polls but practical realities and that's his -- >> but you got to move people to act. i think that's where it -- >> roland, you can move as many people in the public opinion. but if you don't have the votes in the united states senate to beat a filibuster, it doesn't make any difference -- >> that's why you move them to call and to write and to e-mail.
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>> they don't have the time right now. it's about to empire. >> but if you never did it, how would you know. >> for the president to say he's not playing politics, come on. this was a political deal. >> the impression everyone is getting, ed, is that the president blinked, the republicans didn't blink. is that a fair impression? >> no, it's not. i think we sat down and dealt as we're going to have to do the next two years. we're in the room. it's no longer a question of us not being in the room. we are part of the governing process. we gave up on something. he obviously gave up on something. the only way to govern the next two years and try to tackle this economy and get it moving forward is both sides are going to have to make compromises. i can promise you there's a lot of conservatives out there aren't perfectly happy with this deal either just as a lot of liberals. i think with the president obviously he's the negotiator in the middle and has the veto pen and can stop anything he wants. he can't get it done. polls are not how we run american politics. >> ora. >> i totally agree with you. but when the president stands up
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there and says i'm the grownup, i'm on your side, i can't play politics, my point is that this is a political document. >> sure it is. >> and that each side had to give. the president made it very clear that he's very happy to relitigate these tax cuts for the wealthy in 2012 when he is running for re-election -- >> on this issue of tax cuts -- increasing taxes for the wealthy. when the president said i didn't have the votes in the senate and as a result i had to accept the compromise to protect the middle class, is that a fair statement? would there have been a scott brown of massachusetts or olympia snowe, moderate republicans who would have joined him? >> not in the short term because they agreed to be with the leader. what the democrats want is for the president to play this out, refuse the deal, take it to the end of the year and some democrats, not all -- some democrats say if taxes go up, mr. president, you blame the republicans. we'll be with you. they will blame you. let's have a fight and eventually cut a deal and retroactively fix it. some democrats wanted him to take it into next year. you heard the president say he
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was not going to take that risk and made this deal. the will i be rattle base just lost a election but they think to fight them more. they think this is a snowball at the top of the hill and the president cutting a deal with the republicans now, what's next? as he rolls down the hill what's next? social security and medicare on the table to reduce the deficit. it's not just this deal. they believe many on the left believe it's the beginning of something they don't like. >> and the president is saying i'm a realist here. i'm pragmatic. there was an election. we lost. we lost those seats. i had to cut this deal. and then he's going to present the big picture. >> in the senate there were a whole bunch -- at least half a dozen democrats who went against the president's position. >> that made them do this. >> this is a huge story. we're going to continue our coverage on cnn. i'll be back 5:00 p.m. eastern in "the situation room." lots more coming up. we'll speak with the president's
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top economic adviser austan goolsbee. our coverage continues right after this.
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we're going to keep on having this debate. we're going to keep on having this battle. but in the meantime, i'm not here to play games with the american people or the health of our economy. my job is to do whatever i can to get this economy moving. >> you heard it right there. president obama defending this tax cut, this agreement he has now struck with the republicans. and if this deal holds up, your taxes, my taxes, they will not be going up come january 1st.
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in fact they might be going down. but there is a little something that goes up. ah, yes, the national debt. that bothersome number we say we're concerned about. it will rise by nearly $500 billion as a result of this tax deal. hi, everyone. i'm brooke baldwin. welcome to the "cnn newsroom." we're going to break it down this way. i'm going to show you what the president gave the republicans and what he got in return to make it happen. here's what the president is getting. follow me here with these numbers. you heard about this. 12 more months of benefits for america's unemployed. total cost there you see the number $57 billion. he is getting this too. an extension of some of the tax breaks included in that stimulus program, total cost of that $40 billion. now, this one definitely came out of nowhere. this was a bit of a surprise today. take a look at this. a cut in the payroll tax. big surprise. huge gift to everyone collecting a salary. and we're going to talk a little
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bit more about that. but i want to take the turn to republicans. here is what they get. here's the big one. tax cuts for the wealthy, the top two percent. two more years of tax cuts for them. total cost there $75 billion. and take a look at this one with me. breaks on inheritance taxes. that's another big one. $88 billion. and that is how the deal went down. and as you have definitely heard by now, a lot of democrats are saying the president gave away the farm, broke promises. they're not happy. some of them are outraged, which leads to this question. can this thing, this whole deal actually get through congress? a short time ago the vice president turned up on capitol hill to meet with senate democrats. you would imagine mr. biden got a bit of an earful as well. brianna keilar has been covering this story for us on capitol hill. here is one of the questions of many. are the democrats up there angry enough -- it's important to say it's not just the liberal dems
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but the moderate democrats as well. are there big enough numbers to potentially block the deal on taxes in this lame duck session? >> reporter: and that's what we're waiting to see as it shakes out. but at this point there are not -- it's lacking like there's a whole lot of problems for president obama when it comes to democrats. senate democrats especially we've been talking about as they're back here on capitol hill. senate majority leader harry reid came out to the microphones -- note during president obama's press conference. sort of going head-to-head there, making it clear that even he personally wasn't signing on to this deal. and what we're hearing from democrats in general in the house as well is this is an agreement between the white house and republicans. we are not on board. and harry reid was promising that they are going to have to be changes before democrats can sign on. but take a look at this. republicans, where do they stand on this? we heard from mitch mcconnell, the top republican in the senate, saying he thinks most of their conference is going to be
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able to sign on to this. and i spoke with one senior republican aide who told me they're only expecting to luz a handful of votes when it comes to the republicans. so the white house doesn't need all of the democrats. and certainly we expect they'll lose some of them. it's just a matter of how many they can lose and still put this through congress. >> so republicans more or less good with this particular agreement. you mentioned harry reid. interestingly speaking midspeech saying he's not totally signing on, not willing to fully push this through. so i guess given all of that, brianna, this may be a reach but can we think of a time frame for pushing it through the senate and then i imagine the house? >> reporter: there could be a lot of different steps, but there is a deadline here because at the end of this month you've got millions of americans whose unemployment benefits are going to expire. and that extension of unemployment benefits is in this deal. then you also have the bush-era tax cuts that are set to expire. so obviously, the deadline would
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be the new year. and of course congress tries to get everything done before christmas, right? and they do generally speaking. so those are really the deadlines. but in terms of when this is going to the floor we're not sure. we do know the senate will go first but don't know the exact time line. >> got it. we know you'll be watching and waiting for it as we all are. so we know obama is willing to break some of his promises to reach this tax cut agreement. and who does that anger the most? the liberals. enter senator bernie sanders. we're going to add him to this conversation next. what's his take on this whole thing. and while we're talking about the big deal here on capitol hill, there is one part of this we have not yet discussed, your paycheck, payday about to change for you. and some people, this could be pretty significant. poppy harlow, she's going to join me next to explain what that means for you. [ sneezes ] client's here. whoa! that achy cold needs alka-seltzer plus! it rushes multiple cold fighters,
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all right. back to the president. here he is just a short time ago. in a moment we'll show you the president saying he was basically out of options. he had no choice but to give the republicans their tax break for the wealthiest, the top 2%, so that the rest of the country could have their own tax break as well. here he is, mr. obama. >> i will continue to fight before the american people to make the point that the republican position is wrong. now, if there was not collateral damage, if this was just a matter of my politics or being able to persuade the american people to my side, then i would just stick to my guns, because the fact of the matter is the
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american people already agree with me. there are polls showing right now that the american people for the most part think it's a bad idea to provide tax cuts to the wealthy. but the issue is not me persuading the american people. they're already there. the issue is how do i persuade the republicans in the senate who are currently blocking that position? i have not been able to budge them. and i don't think there's any suggestion anybody in this room thinks realistically that we can budge them right now. in the meantime there are a whole bunch of people being hurt. >> joining me now from washington senator bernie sanders from vermont. he is a progressive independent who caucuses, votes with the democrats. congressman, what is your reaction to the president saying he doesn't want to continue this protracted political fight but do what's best for the american people? >> well, we all want to do what's best for the american people. and in my view it is a moral outrage that the republican party is -- at a time when the middle class is collapsing, that the republican party is holding
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hostage millions of americans who desperately need an extension in unemployment compensation and their tax breaks. where i disagree with the president -- >> you say it's a moral outrage. you were sort of going along the same hostage analogy as did the president essentially saying the republicans were keeping the american people hostage but he didn't want to harm the hostages, the american people. do you see it that way at all? >> well, what i can tell you is i come from a small state, the state of vermont. we have received 600 phone calls today alone, people saying the president's strategy is wrong, that our job is to convince a handful of republicans that it is wrong to give tax breaks to billionaires, make our national debt even greater and not provide extended unemployment to american workers. so i think we have the american people on our side. what we have got to do is rally the american people, have them
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call up their republican senators and say, senator, you can't give tax breaks to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars a year to hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to people who don't need it when the rich are already getting richer. >> congressman sanders -- >> senator, by the way. >> senator sanders, you know the president said he had to do this for the sake of the american people. if he let all of this continue until the extensions run out, that would then mean a lot of hard working americans, their taxes would be going up. 2 million americans would not get unemployment benefits. just for the sake of playing devil's advocate, if you put yourself in the president's shoes, do you not see it from his perspective? >> the democrats control the white house, the house of representatives today and the senate. what is blocking us from protecting the middle class and not giving tax breaks to billionaires are a handful of republicans. in the next couple of weeks, i honestly believe that the
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american people are prepared to tell republicans don't hold the middle class and the unemployed hostage in order to give tax breaks to billionaires. so i think of course the president is right, we have got to protect the unemployed and the middle class. but i think we can do that by rallying the american people and not giving tax breaks to people who don't need it and driving up our $13.7 trillion national debt. >> senator sanders, i've heard you do plan to filibuster. is that still your plan? >> i am going to -- i think this is a very bad agreement. i think the vast majority of the american people do not agree with it. and i am going to do everything i can to defeat it so that we end up protecting the middle class and the unemployed and not drive up the national debt by giving huge tax breaks to people who don't need it. >> senator sanders, thank you for being live for us on capitol hill. senator, thank you. >> thank you. this came out of nowhere. you ready for this? have you heard about this?
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if you draw a paycheck, you just landed yourself a huge christmas present, hanukkah present. a gift for you that you didn't even ask for. not kidding about this. this is part of the tax cut deal, totally unexpected. poppy harlow is joining me now in new york. poppy, talk to me about this cut in the payroll tax. a lot of ears perking up right now on this one. >> reporter: he first addressed this when he spoke at 6:30 last night hinting that there had been a deal reached, the formal announcement coming today. this is a payroll tax cut of 2%. it is new. it's not part of the bush tax cuts. here's how it works. basically it goes to fund social security which we all know is in a state that may not be fully funded in a matter of years. so right now you pay 6.2% of your wages up to $106,000. next year you're only going to pay 4.2%. there's the 2% cut. say you make $40,000 a year.
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this means you save $800 a year. 60k $1200 a years. 100k, you save $2,000. this applies only to the first $106,000 or so that you take in. so if you have make a lot more than that, this isn't going to mean a tax cut for that amount. so the maximum savings for someone even on the high end is going to be about $2100 a year but it's more money in people's pockets. the president's argument here, that means people will have spend more and stimulate this economy. here's an important side note. it's only for workers. employers will still pay the full tax toward social security. the cost as you put up on the screen at the beginning of this to the deficit, which we were just focusing on last friday on cutting the deficit, the cost what this adds is $120 billion. now, what this does also is this replaces what you may have heard of, the making work pay tax credit. we had that last year.
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that was $400 per worker and it was phased out for people making more than $7500. this is larger and more generous and affects more people. if this gets through congress, this means their paychecks will be a little bit bigger. >> the hope with more money in the pocket that will help be used to stimulate the economy. that's the argument. poppy harlow, thank you. totally switching gears let's talk about elizabeth i had war edwards she was told additional cancer treatments won't help. what is it like for her now at home in south carolina? she's surrounded by friends and family including her estranged husband john edwards. he's home as well. we'll talk to a family insider ahead. our conversation about this tax cut deal continues. jessica yellin is up next.
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welcome back to the "newsroom." the president just gave a pretty spirited defense of his tax cut deal with the republicans. but it sure does sound like a broken promise on both sides of the aisle. and face it, reality is he's not only -- he's not the only one who is breaking a promise on this. jessica yellin our national political correspondent. just walk us through this, will you? >> reporter: first of all, let's remember what the president said obje on the campaign trail and even more recently. we have a sound of him vowing not to re-enact president george w. bush's tax cuts. >> end the bush tax cuts for the wealthiest americans. it means letting the bush tax cuts for the wealthiest americans expire. rolling back the bush tax cuts to the top 1%. we have to roll back. i want to roll back.
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i'm going to roll back the tax cuts for the wealthiest americans. for the wealthiest americans. for the wealthiest americans. it is true that i want to roll back the bush tax cuts on the very wealthiest americans. >> wow! >> reporter: so i'm not sure you got that there. during the campaign he frequently said -- >> i think i got it. >> you got it. it was a centerpiece of his campaign. and i was following him through all of those states and we heard it at every single stop that i can remember covering him during that campaign. so will this come back to haunt him? the white house will take the position that they had no choice. you heard the president say. and will try to slam republicans going into the 2012 campaign for putting washington in the position of having to re-enact bush's tax cut plan. but the problem is as i'm sure you know and everyone has been discussed this, he's been so have you gone i. vigorously attacked from the left by the
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democrats on this, that will be a hard message for all democrats to carry going forward. >> not just the far left but middle left as well. >> reporter: good point. >> it's not just the president as we saw in the montage breaking a promise. it's also -- correct me if i'm wrong -- the republicans breaking a promise as well. >> reporter: yes. okay. so we also had a montage of the republicans but don't have it right now. so let me just give you a picture of it. it's a lot of republicans going, one of our top priorities will be to cut spending in the new congress. we're going to cut spending. let's cut spending, mo nor spending. you got the idea? >> got it. >> reporter: then they came back and the first act in the lame duck session is to pass a package that increases spending dramatically. and so that is going to be a very difficult contradiction for republicans to square on the one hand they want to ensure these tax cuts go forward. on the other hand, they don't want to talk about how it's going to be paid for. expect democrats to try to stick that to them in the upcoming campaign in 2012. >> i want to bring in john
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avlon, the senior contributor also with daily my conversation with bernie sanders he said a moral outrage. do you think, john, that the liberals are being too rough on the president? >> well, they're definitely spoiling for a fight. they feel betrayed to a certain extent by this president. at this moment they feel the poker playing he's done with the republicans hasn't been sufficient in terms of defending their interest. that said, i think the president at this point is acknowledging the results of this election. he's trying to lead from a point of let's see where we can come forward together to put forward a proposal so the vacht majority of american people don't see their taxes go up. there will be a fight. when he announced this that was already in the cards. whether it's enough to stop the whole compromise that's where the delicate dance and game goes today. this is all still unfolding in realtime up in washington. >> john avlon -- go ahead, jess.
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>> reporter: one other thought is what's fascinating if you listen to it, the president's greatest anger was with his own party. when he talked about the republicans he seemed calm. when he talked about the democrats he seemed enlivened and enraged. even if the package passes that is going to be a problem going forward. there seems to be growing and very real tension between the white house and some of the members of their own party. they're at a bit of a loggerheads which could last a while. >> which makes it interesting come 2012. >> not only makes it interesting. i think it's actually a strategic asset in the long run. the president needs to declare his independent from the liberal democratic base to reconnect with voters in the center and independents in particular. it's not the worst thing in the world -- >> that's what you'd like to believe. >> jessica yellin. >> the democratic party will see it. john avlon has a specific point of view. he wants to see the center come together in a strong way and democrats who are on the left and not quite to the center will see it very differently. >> jessica yellin, john avlon.
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i like having you both on at the same time. let's remember it. love it. thanks to both of you. meantime, a high speed chase. this is in nebraska. takes police on this wild ride. but wait until you see who is behind the wheel. that is ahead. and the leader of wikileaks is arrested. there he is. julian assange. he was llts denied bail this morning. he's now fighting extradition to sweden to face those rape allegations. we're going to get that report next. chevrolet sprang bolt by bolt, car by car, out of the very best america had to offer. ingenuity. integrity. optimism. and a belief that the finest things are the most thoughtfully made -- not the most expensive. today, the american character is no less strong. and chevrolet continues as an expression of the best of it. bringing more technology to more people than ever in our history. inventing new ways to get around our planet while helping to preserve it at the same time. exploring new horizons of design and power.
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the pressure is on for wikileaks. there are all kinds of developments on the story today, the biggest one being that wikileaks founder julian assange now sitting in jail. assange turned himself in to london police this morning. he was arrested on a warrant from sweden. that is where he's wanted right now for questioning about these allegations that he sexually assaulted not just one but two women last august in stockholm. assange has already appeared in court. i want you to see this. i want you to look at the mob
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scene outside the courthouse today. just watch. >> move back! now! >> move back, please. be fair to the gentleman. he's said all he's going to say. >> calm down. sir, calm down. calm down. >> the masses, the yelling, a bit of shoving. you saw the guy with the gray hair. look at that. camera going down. that was british film and tv director leaving the courthouse. he's one of several high profile and wealthy supporters. there he is. who offered to guarantee bail for sa savage. another of his supporters investigative journalist based in london. he is one of sa savage's friends who believe the sex allegations is all a raus. listen to what he said outside the court today. >> in the united states, they teach their children about thomas jefferson every day. and jefferson said that information is the currency of democracy. without it, we don't have it.
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wikileaks has been giving us loads of information and information to which we have a right. >> now, inside the courtroom -- and we just have sketches for now -- assange refused to agree to be extra dieded to sweden. despite all of those wealthy supporters offering to help bail out assange, the judge said it would be too easy for the wikileaks founder just to run so the judge ordered assange to be held in jail until next tuesday. talk about the crush of reporters outside that courtroom as assange was hauled off to jail. he was hauled off in a high security van. take a look at this. >> move back! >> move, move! >> get back, everyone! >> move out of the way! >> move back! >> did you hear that? i know it's kind of hard to make out, the shouting. but someone was shouting, "we
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love you, julian." his attorney says the number of supporters at the courthouse today is the tip of the iceberg. >> this is going to go viral. many people will come forward to stand assurances for mr. assange. many people believe mr. assange to be innocent, myself included. and many people believe that this prosecution is politically motivated. >> in today's hearing, the judge repeatedly said, this case is not about wikileaks. this is about the serious sexual offense allegations those two women have lodged against assange. sweden's prosecutor also denies any political motive and so far there's no sign assange's arrest has triggered the so-called doomsday document. that is what assange threatened to release if he was arrested, if he was harmed or if the website wikileaks was shut down. but the financial noose seems to be tightening around assange and wikileaks. their avenues for collecting
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donations is shrinking. we're hearing now visa and mastercard cut ties to wikileaks and paypal has already frozen their account. here is one we have not seen yet on re-atlanta tv. plus-sized ladies ready to party. would you watch? it's a casting call happening and it's trending. male announc] open up a cadillac during our season's best sales event. and receive the gift of asphalt. experience the cadillac of crossovers, the striking srx. it's the one gift you can open up all year long. see your cadillac dealer for this attractive offer. backed by the peace of mind that only comes from cadillac premium care maintenance. the season's best sales event. from cadillac.
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time for trending. have you heard about this new show on vh1, it's a reality show apparently looking for plus-sized women ready to step out into the spotlight and shake up old stereotypes. also guess who is behind the wheel legally speaking? lindsay lohan. it's brooke and brooke time. joining me from los angeles hln
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"showbiz tonight" host brooke anderson. talk to me about the premise of this vh1 show. >> it's time to show the world that big girls have more fun. that is how the open casting call for a new vh1 docuseries describes the show. vh1 is looking for women who are at least 21docuseries. they're looking for women who are at least 25 and appear younger than 35 who have got the quote, style, sex appeal and stash to get voted. the goal here, brook is to portray the curvier women who are happy with their size, happy in their own skin having a blast. the show has no title yet. but many anticipate that it's going to be sort of a "sex and the city" for full figured young ladies. big girls don't cry, they freakin' party. so brooke, is the message that,
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look, curvy ladies are fun and beautiful as well? is that really what vh-1 is going for, do you think? >> and what you said, it's meant to shake up some old stereotypes. they're looking for women who aren't aiming to change what they look like, like, the show bridal plasty. >> lindsay lohan making news because she's driving again. >> are you scared? it's only been two weeks, brook, since the los angeles county probation department restored lindsay's driver's license. a there had been talk to the roads just would not be safe for lindsay because the paparazzi would be trailing her at all times.
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now that she has the keys to the ignition, we all remember her infamous dui arrest here in l.a. she pleaded guilty to dui and cocaine possession. she will be in rehab until january, but now she reportedly has more freedom to roam, when given the freedom to do so. we have reached out to the betty ford clinic and her parents and we have yet to get a response. >> this is a good sign of her own health, that they're allowing her to drive and she's doing better. >> absolutely. you remember the west borrow church, that baptist church that holds demonstrations at military funerals. one man is fighting against the clan and he's in a built of hot water. and police get a huge surprise at the end of a
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high-speed chase. you get to see this one play out next. but that's not the only s. it's got turn-by-turn navigation, onstar, an available six-speed automatic transmission, remote keyless entry, and 10 air bags. it's a big story for a compact car. the all-new chevrolet cruze. get used to more. very well-qualified lessees can get a low-mileage lease on a 2011 chevrolet cruze ls for around $159 a month. call for details. i'm hugh jidette and i'm running for president. i'll say a lot of things but do i really care about this baby's future? when he's 30 years old our $13 trillion debt will be $70 trillion eventually his taxes will double just to pay the interest. i'm hugh jidette and i say let's keep borrowing and stick our kids with the tab.
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parents, what would you do with your little ones if they did this? you know that saying on your rear view mirror, objects not as large as they appear? this officer is in pursuit of what he thinks is a drunk driver. but after topping out at 100 miles an hour, he gets the driver to slow down, he gets the driver to pull over. the whole show me your license and registration thing meant nothing to the driver. why? because the driver is 13 years of age. and not only that, that driver had three friends in the vehicle with him. apparently this kid was out joyriding. parents had no idea what was happening until they got that call, ma'am, this is the police. now this, a war vet turns the tables and goes after the
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controversial westborough baptist church. we'll tell you why he is facing punishment. gloria borger is next with all the political news. gloria is next.
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gloria borger has been following the tax cut debate all
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morning long. our colleague jessica yellin brought up the fact that when you watch the president, we talked about the republicans, he wasn't that angry. but when he talked about the democrats, that was when the anger sort of was shown. did you see that? >> i did. and it was in that last question which was really quite revealing. and the word he used for his opponents and the liberal democrats which would have been included among the democrats is sanctimonious. you can't be sanctimonious. what i saw was this president acting like bill clinton. he played the adult, triangulating, remember that word between the democrats and the republicans and being the grown up in the house. and i think today the president said, look, you know, i tried to do what i could get done, i didn't have the votes in the united states senate. even six democrats had deserted him.
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he said i did what i had to do for the american people. so they got a stimulus package effectively that's almost as large if not larger than the first one they passed. and now he's got to move to phase two yee here and i think that's going to be in the state of the union. >> when harry reid said, hang on a second, the deal is not totally done, what do you take away from that? >> i think he was listening to his caucus, you had the vice president up there today making his case and i think that harry reid is just telling the american people what he heard from his caucus, which is we didn't get what we wanted, we didn't get everything we wanted, he's hear that from democrats. i think the democrats in the senate may be more willing to go along with this than the democrats in the house. i talked to a senior white house advisor this morning who said to me, as of this morning, they believed this was still going to
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happen, but the last thing the president wants right now is for them to start unraveling this and to start, you know, fooling around with the delicate balance that he's reached. but, you know, you never know with the senate, they could very well decide that that's exactly what they're going to do. >> we know they're up against a deadline, they don't want to continue this thing go christmas. so the days are ticking by, we have to wait and see what was before it goes before the senate and the house. i want to remind everyone we'll get another political ticker in about a half an hour. but i have these guys in the studio, as we end the 3:00 and start the 4:00, these are my new friends from cedar valley elementary. can you say be right back? >> be right back. there is a big surprise in the tax cut deal, money just in time for the holidays for you,
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but, boy are some democrats angry with president obama. the news is now. president obama changing his tune. >> i'm going to roll back the bush tax cuts for the very wealthiest americans. for the wealthest americans. >> so did the president break a promise? this group tours the country disrupting funerals for american troops. this man, a u.s. veteran turns out to protest them. now this group is accusing him of stalking. huh? how is that fair? we're going to take a closer look at the law. what do sarah palin and kate gosselin possibly have in common? reality tv, for one. now they team up on the former dp
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governor's reality show. will gosselin learn to hunt and fish and shoot for eight on "palin's alaska." hello once again, i'm brooke baldwin, a lot is happening on this tuesday. rapid fire, let's begin with this, facing anger from fellow democrats, president obama is defending his tax deal with republicans today. if congress agrees, the bush era tax cuts for america's wealthiest will continue for two more years. the president says it's the only way he could continue to give tax cuts to the middle class and he says the tax cut package will help stimulate the economy. watch. >> we're going to keep on having this debate. we're going to keep on having this battle. but in the meantime, i'm not here to play games with the american people or the health of our economy. my job is to do whatever i can to get this economy moving. >> mr. obama vows to phase out tax cuts for the wealthiest americans come 2012. next to wikileaks, founder
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julian assange is arrested in london. a judge holds him in jail without bail for at least a week while assange is fighting extradition to sweden. that is where assange will face sexual allegations from two different women. but there is no sign yet of the secret encrypted document, the poison pill assange had threatened to release if he's arrested or harmed or the website that wikileaks has taken down. meantime, next, almost home, moving very very slowly, a broken down freighter is limping to harbor there in alaska thanks to that tow boat. this is one of those huge cargo vessels loaded down with crude oil and cargo headed for the persian gulf. the engines failed out there in the aleutians. but it should be back in dutch harbor soon. next a couple of days of
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talks, any real progress? not really, diplomats from policy chiefs just wrapped up days of talks in switzerland. this is important since it's been an entire year since the last round of talks. but all they really settled on was a date and a place to hold more talks. next month they're going to istanbul. next, a salvation army bell ringer walks off, walking away with the kettle and the cash. who does that? this is for kids. police arrested 41-year-old ernest mize today, they say he walked off the job on friday with all of 400 bucks in that kettle. get this, they think he set up the kettle and rang the bell in other locations trying to scam even more people. mize told police he didn't know anything about the theft. next, when is $110 billion a problem? when some of the bills are bad.
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take a look at what i mean here. this is a $100 bill. now it's got high-tech security features like a 3d security strip, you saw that and a color shifting image of a bell. here's the problem. millions of these bills folded during the printing process created a blank portion running across the bill face. so, more than a billion of these things are bad and they're sitting in vaults in texas and d.c. right now. next, a moment of silence in pearl harbor, hawaii. today, december 7, 69 years ago to the day since a surprise japanese bombing attack that thrust the united states into world war ii. the number of people who witnessed the attack is dwindling. next, if you are a parent, you know it costs a little bit of money to have children. wait until you hear kmablgtly how much.
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the usda apparently putting a dollar figure on this, telling us it costs parents more than $200,000 to raise one child. and that doesn't even include college. that is for the average middle income couple and it's 22% more in real dollars than parents spent back in 1960. next, let's talk about a dog gone rough fight. what is inside that dog carrier that forced a newark airplane to make a forced landing in pittsburgh? it was a whopping monstrous dog. i'm totally kidding, this little thing was 12 pounds. a little terrier named mandy. mandy became agitated during the flight, bit a passenger who tried to calm her down. then broke out of that dog carrier you see there. ran down the aisle and bit a flight attendant.
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mandy and her 90-year-old owner got off the flight and it continued without them. have you met captain awesome? he's actually a real guy. an unemployed cabinet installer from oregon, real name douglas allen smith jr., but a judge recently approved his request to change his name to captain awesome. for real, i'm serious. so this awesome dude, there he is says the name was inspired by a character on the tv show "chuck." all right, fair enough. the judge also approved mr. awesome's request for a new signature. yeah, you're looking at it. it's a smiley face and two arrows. but here's the problem, mr. captain awesome. your bank account doesn't think it's so awesome, they refuse to accept the new signature because they say it's too easy to forge. carter, how is wall street
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looking? >> reporter: things were looking pretty good but stocks slid back on reports that authorities are ramping up those insider trading probes, dow closing down about three points. the s&p 500 did hit a two-year intraday high but then it pulled back just a little bit. let's talk about these tax cuts. they are a stimulus. they are an extension of the bush era tax cut. many argue the best way to get money back into the economy is to take less from people's pockets in the first place this. could translate into more spending, also the tax deal is more business friendly. it allows businesses to write off 100% of their expenses in 2011. it brings some certainty to wall street as well. a lot of people were very concerned about what was going to happen with this. now it looks as though we know what's going to happen. >> talk to me about citigroup, we hear the government finally selling a stake in citigroup? >> reporter: yes, selling off the rest of its stake in citi
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group and citi selling about 3% higher on that news. the government is selling its 1.2 billion shares. we're actually going to make money on the deal. by we, i mean taxpayers, the original bailout, $45 billion, but after it's all said and done, taxpayers are getting back $57 billion for a total profit of $12 billion, a 26% return in two years. not bad. >> carter evans, thank you. i want to tell you about this double amputee who by the way is a war veteran getting all kinds of support for what he did to members of this controversial westborough baptist church. we're going to tell you what he did and why he could be in trouble. julian assange is now
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fibltifiblt i fighting extradition to sweden. [ male announcer ] don't let aches and pains in the morning slow you down. introducing bayer am. its dual-action formula delivers extra strength pain relief, plus it fights fatigue. so get up and get going with new bayer am, the morning pain reliever.
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welcome back to the newsroom. the noose really tightening
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around wikileaks and founder julian assange. police arrested him on a warrant from sweden. swedish police want to ke him about rape and sexual molestation allegations by two separate women. assange was in a courtroom today and was denied bail for another week. so far there is no sign today's developments have triggered that encrypted file that assange has threatened to release if he was arrested or if he was harmed or if wikileaks was shut down. so exactly how would that actually work? we looked into it. this is from my colleague brian todd. >> reporter: some call it a doomsday file, others a poison pill, he calls it an insurance file to be opened in the event he is captured, killed or wikileaks is taken down. with me is ira writtinkler.
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we just kind of got into this file. show us what it looks like with the encorruption. >> with the encryption, and with the average person was to look at it, all they would see is a bunch of garbage. >> reporter: how tough is it to deencrypt this? >> this is thousands of different options of recovering the data. you have to go through trillions of options to actually get the right sequence of characters back, so that's why the password is so important. >> reporter: apparently only assange or those very close to him have that password. when we got into the file, we saw huge reems of characters in what looks like an exotic language. if something game changing happens to assange or wikileaks, he'll give out the pass words. the documents could hit the internet instantaneously. the file is massive. it's not clear what's in it?
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his side this is just for the historical record, to preserve history, what do you call it? >> when you have your own lawyer calling it a therm mo nuclear device, you can bet it's meant to cause damage. >> reporter: >> reporter: ira winkler says there are those in the government and others trying to code this material as we speak. actor wesley snipes, he is about to head to prison this week on tax evasion charges. i'm going to tell you why a judge would not let him wait until after the holidays, that's what he wanted. and how would you like to go camping with kate gosselin and her eight kids, and just for good measure, throw in eight
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kids. that drama is apparently really happening. joe johns, what are you cooking up every day? we'll talk after the break.
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one of our favorite topics here at cnn, a topic we really like to sink our teeth into is this concept of broken government. so the possibility of this debate and agreement going on on capitol hill brings up some questions that are not getting answered right now. joe johns joins me now with political pop. so, joe, part of the debate here -- >> i got to be honest with you. >> just be honest. what were you going to say? >> the truth is -- yeah, i was
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going to say, the truth here is right now we're probably just asking those questions more than answering them. we have got these meetings going on on capitol hill, people running all over the place and i suppose the very first one is, wasn't part of the debate in the last election about the need to reduce government, reduce the size of government? >> reduce spending? >> right. so now that the election is over, how is it that the republicans and the white house agree that what we need most is billions of dollars more in government spending? and then there's this related question, why procrastinate when you can just postpone the whole thing, right? for those of you who have been keeping track, the debate over the bush tax cuts has been going on for about a decade and that's not really hype, brook, it really has been going on for ten years when the first bush tax cuts were enacted. the bush tax cuts were an issue during the kerry presidential campaign, they're certainly an
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issue during president obama's campaign for the white house. and we have been talking a lot about this on the show, the democrats had control of the house and the senate and the white house for a while and now they're down to running out the clock to try to get a deal. and the last question is all about the holidays, you know what that is, who will be the ultimate grinch this year? >> who will be the ultimaall tu grinch? >> if you calculate it out, democrats are in control of the house, the senate and the white house. either way, you can spin it to make it look like it's the other party. that's if you spin it. but the democrats spent the last several months claiming they had a problem communicating their message, like health care and the stimulus. and on the left democrats are saying they're going to miraculously break through and connect with all the people who weren't hearing them the last time around. >> maybe a couple of grinches.
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let's get to the story, we hate getting back to sarah palin, but we couldn't resist. palin plus eight. what is the story, joe johns? >> i love this. i love this. >> do you? >> just when you thought things were -- yeah, i do. i mean how can you not as a reporter like to cover sarah palin? there's just so much there. things are starting to cool off. they were losing the buzz, you know, people were not talking about the show. now there's a new twist. the folks at tlc have decided to put kate gosselin in the mix along with eight kids and they were nice to send us some video of it. do you want to take a look? here you go. >> here it is. do we know -- this is the upcoming episode of "alaska" is it not? >> yeah, and they're basically, they're what, they're cooking some marshmallows, they see a grizzly. this is good stuff.
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who cares why? it's just the fact that they're together with sarah palin and we have two reality shows meeting one and it's quite exciting. i've been up there in alaska this time of year, it is pretty cold so i kind of feel for the kids. >> yeah, eight little ones, it didn't look like kate gosselin was enjoying it, but tlc may be enjoying it because the ratings may be pretty good this sunday. >> she looked beautiful. >> alaska is a beautiful place, maybe not for hunting for everyone. it looks kind of lovely. i would love to go. we'll check back with you on monday. let's talk about actor wesley snipes, he's preparing to go to prison for three years for evading his taxes. we're going to tell you buy he has to surrender this week and cannot wait, like he wanted to, until after the christmas holidays. if you're checking off your
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christmas wish list, here's a list you'll want to check out. the highest paid reality stars. who could they possibly be? this is compiled by the dailey beast. any guess who raked in the most dough? kate gosselin, the mom of eight apparently showing up hunting in alaska with sarah palin, she was also on "dancing with the stars" made $3.5 million this year. number four from the hills to "dancing with the stars." audrina patridge. and number three, bethenny fr k frank frankle. she parlayed that into a whopping $4 million. who could the top two be? wait for it. we'll be right back. lgae."
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and that's what started it. exxonmobil and synthetic genomics have built a new facility to identify the most productive strains of algae. algae are amazing little critters. they secrete oil, which we could turn into biofuels. they also absorb co2. we're hoping to supplement the fuels that we use in our vehicles, and to do this at a large enough scale to someday help meet the world's energy demands.
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all right, before we goat to trending, we want to finish that last, reality tv is a tricky business, but some savvy stars turned it into a very lucrative one. we have the top two reality show
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earners, lauren conrad, she was the star of the hills, she earned $5 million this year. this is kim kardashian, what some might call the midas touch, everything she touched in 2010 apparently turned to gold. kim kardashian raking in a reported $6 million. time for trending and tonight, cnn's larry king has an exclusive interview with wesley snipes, he's a 48-year-old actor, he was sentenced to three years in prison on tax charges. he was initially convicted and sentenced two years ago, but this is the only interview, this is a huge get for us. this is the only interview he's going to be giving before he's scheduled to report to a federal correctional institution in pennsylvania. that has to happen on december 9. wesley snipes is well known for being versatile in his acting roles, you think of him in white men can't jump, blade and to
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wong fu thanks for everything, just to name a few. you can watch the entire and only interview with wesley snipes, you know the time, larry king, 9:00 p.m. eastern. and last night, did you see? larry king also interviewed a massively high profile actor, al pacino. pacino considered by many as one of the greatest actors of our time talked about his regrets, about his roles and the art of being an actor. watch. >> let me tell you something, our art is in the repeats, an actor's art, let me tell you. that's why the actors of the past, before there was movies, before there was television, why would they would do these roles over and over again, because they edmond king did richard when he was 8 years old. he was a spouter, he would go into rich people's houses and
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spout hamlet. when he was 30, can you imagine his richard? if that wasn't an extension of his whole feeling about life, what was? so what happens is you merge your life with the character. and the more you continue something and especially when you're doing shakespeare, the nuances start coming. >> al pacino, if you missed the interview last night, you can always log on to now to this, doctors are now going to stop treating this woman, elizabeth edwards suffering from cancer, they're now going to focus on her 1i6sie somes. julian assange was arrested today and he was denied bail. we're going to have a live report for you from london next. come on. isn't it time an auto insurer gave it to you straight? that's why you should talk to state farm. but not yet. first, talk to any one of the 40 million drivers
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this is a lot happening all around the world today. so it's time to play border roulette. wikileaks founder julian assange sitting in jail right at this moment. i saw you earlier today in the melee outside the courthouse. for people who mised that, i want you to paint that picture for me and also what happened inside the courthouse when assange appeared before that judge. >> there was a lot happening outside of the courthouse, there were reporters scuffling and there were a lot of assange support supporters, some of them actually yelled we love you, shouting that he's a political prisoner. inside the courtroom, julian assange was very calm, cool and collected. he didn't seem very emotional.
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but it was a big set back when he found out that bail had been denied and that he would be spending the next week in jail. >> do we know how long he'll be in jail? >> we know he'll be in jail for at least a week. his next hearing is on december 14, but his lawyers say they will try and get him released on bail again. >> we have heard about this poisonous pill, the doomsday document, what about that? because he had threatened that if he were to be arrested. >> this is assange's final trump card. this is a filed that's heavily encrypted, a massive file, but it's supposed to have all of wikileaks information, what they haven't released yet could be highly damaging, but they say they're not in that grave a situation yet, they're going to wait to see if wikileaks gets shut down completely. if that happens they will release a keyword that will basically unlock this file and release it to the public. >> we appreciate it.
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next story here, talking about elizabeth edwards, we're hearing doctors giving her possibly just weeks to live. she stopped her cancer treatment, next on reporter roulette, dr. sanjay gupta here in atlanta. >> i can tell you it's an incredibly difficult decision for elizabeth edwards, her family, the health care team, it's not that she's not getting treated anymore, it's that she's getting treated for simple tymp opposed to being treated for cancer. she's surrounded by her family, she's supposedly pain free. remember she was diagnosed back in 2004, and at this point, the thinking is that the treatment to try and treat or cure the cancer, the risk/benefit analysis just doesn't add up anymore. the treatments may be too toxic,
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her likely benefit is too small, and that's how they arrive at this decision. for most women, the trajectory for most women, after five years, 80% survival rate, after eight years, a 90% survival rate. but cancer is an individual disease in every patient. and having this disease spread to her bones and her liver, the doctors have decided that further treatment for the cancer is probably not going to be productive, instead focusing on symptoms for the time being. sources close to elizabeth edwards say it will probably just be a matter of weeks, she is quite sick and it will be a matter of weeks before she passes away from this disease. back to you. >> sanjay gupta for us in atlanta. sanjay, thank you. i want to go to dan lothian at the white house. dan lothian, huge day for the president, as part of that news conference, announcing that he
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has agreed to the high income tax cuts. >> reporter: what we saw the president doing was playing offense and talking about this deal. today he was essentially defending it. we saw the vice president going up to capitol hill to work with those democrats who are not happy. the reason that he did compromise is because republicans weren't willing to bend on those tax cuts for the wealthy, those making more than $250,000 a year, they wouldn't budge, so the president said he could have extended this into next year when it would have been much more difficult to get a deal done so he thought now was the right time to compromise. >> then it heads to congress. any chance this deal could have trouble getting through? >> well, you know, that's the big question, i mean it -- by all accounts, it appears that it will be tough, but most likely this deal will get done. but this is only an extension, what we're talking about here with these tax cuts for another two years, so this will again come up in 2012, the president pointing out today that his compromise in no way shows that he's going to bend to every
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request from the republicans, that he's still willing to fight, has some fight left in him and he will have to fight for the extension of the tax cuts for the wealthy americans when it comes up in 2012. >> will the president fight to end the tax cuts for folks making more than $250,000 in 2012, which is obviously a huge, huge year for him? >> that's right. the congressional election, the presidential election as well. so this will become a huge issue as the president pointed out today, this is something that republicans very much support. they want to have a permanent extension for all americans, including those millionaires and billionaires and it's something that he is adamantly against. he will give it this two-year extension, but beyond that, he will fight it, that's what he says. next to virginia, so there's a parade that's happening. apparently some folks there saw one of their heroes kind of a hero go down just before the christmas holiday.
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call this toll-free number now. okay. everyone's favorite reindeer, you know, rudolph, known for helping guide santa's sleigh with his big red nose. leading the pack, there he is, rudolph. but even his bright red nose could not save him from certain impending doom. oh, no, santa's trusted
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reindeer, a deer in the headlights going down. looks like santa may have some tough choices to make this christmas eve. poor guy. why fly when you can take the train? maybe that's what this hawk was thinking when its stopped in the boston rail station. the wayward bird caught a bird's-eye view of commuters that is before being captured by animal control. and last time i checked, legal driving age in most states 16, right? so check this out with me, this is video from a police dash cam, the officer thought he was pursuing a drunk driver, that car right there, speeding along. apparently speeds reached as high as 100 miles an hour. officer gets the car to pull over, hops out, gets up to the driver and lo and behold, that whole show us your license and registration, meant nothing to this driver. he's only 13 years old.
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he also had three friends in the car joyriding. also the parents had no idea their child was out joyriding until they heard from police. the members of that controversial baptist church, allegedly stalked by a war veteran for demonstrations like these. now he is facing charges, the war veteran, but also getting an outpouring of support. his story is next.
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this site has a should i try priceline instead? >> no it's a sale. nothing beats a sale! wrong move! you. you can save up to half off that sale when you name your own price on priceline. but this one's a me. it's only pretending to be a deal. here, bid $79. got it. wow! you win this time good twin! there's no disguising the real deal.
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now to tomorrow's news today. let's fast forward. elizabeth edwards, she is told additional cancer treatments will not help. so what is it like for her right
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now in her home surrounded by friends and family including her estranged husband john edwards. we're going to talk to an insider tomorrow. some high school teachers and students in one school district, they're trying a brave experiment. they're giving up texting, tweeting and facebooking for a whole week. i'm going to talk to a teacher and a student from shore crest high school in washington state to see how they're coping without one of these, a cell phone. and we're going to spend a couple of minutes now on a story that really addresses the heart of this country's core ideals, freedom of speech. there's this group of people who some say take full advantage of that freedom for their very own unusual agenda. they're the members of the kansas based westborough baptist church. it's a small congregation, but it's a very controversial one. why? because they tend to make news
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when they show up at public events they see as a protest to god and particularly homosexuality. very often their targets are these military funerals, shouting their extreme stance that god punished american service members for america's quote, sin of homosexuality. their words. one of their slogans is, quote, thank god for -- i don't even want to read it. most of the church's congregation belongs to a single family. their families are often present at those protests. they receive the protection of local police and stand behind their constitutional right to express themselves. that's the background, here's the news. this man is jailed today in kansas accused by westborough baptist church for stalking members. the man in jail is a disabled army veteran who lost hiss legs in afghanistan. this is retired sergeant ryan
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newell. westborough church members say ryan has been following them making them fear for their safety. >> the decorated war veteran was arrested tuesday for stalking and false impersonation, investigators say a sedgewick county sheriff's detective saw newell following members of the westborough baptist church and became suspicious. be west bore roug church -- >> it's not a fair judgment of the people that are reacting because of the emotions they they're under. >> reporter: larry lives in marion county and knows newell. he doesn't know what happened in this case but does know the effect westborough protesters
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can have on military members and their families. cushionberry says it's important not to judge until we know what happened. >> i wouldn't because like i said, you know, you got people that have got emotional issues going on for whatever reason, it puts a loss of a loved one, a loss of a limb, you know, a loss of time spent with family. >> how about that? now newell is now being held on a half million dollar bond. he's apparently getting hearings set up for next week. one update on the story does not look like the westborough baptist church is not going to let this case drop quietly. they say they will picket in newell's small hometown in kansas. we are watching this story, the developments and we will stay on it for you. the president answering questions on the tax cut deal. wolf blitzer is all over the
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political news making headlines today. wolf blitzer is next. i'm hugh jidette and i'm running for president. i'll say a lot of things but do i really care about this baby's future? when he's 30 years old our $13 trillion debt will be $70 trillion eventually his taxes will double just to pay the interest. i'm hugh jidette and i say let's keep borrowing and stick our kids with the tab.
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president obama saysa his tax deal is a necessity to defend middle class americans. he promises to keep fighting over taxes over the course of the next two years. wolf blitzer watched that whole conference from washington, he's in "the situation room." you heard the metaphor about the hostage takers, the president accusing the gop of holding the middle class hostage to get what the president called their, quote, holy grail. what did you think of that? >> a lot of republicans hate it and a lot of others think it's an inappropriate comparison to compare the gop to hostage takers if you will, because it reminds a lot of folks of terrorism, if you will. so the president used that metaphor once before, he's using it again today, i think he's going to be criticized by a lot of republicans for making that
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comparison. all right eric cantor, the number two republican in the house of representatives is saying it's an inappropriate comparison, people are very sensitive. ironically it comes at a time when the president is getting some praise from republicans for this tax deal. in fact a lot of republicans are saying they're going to vote for it. they like what the president has done by extending at least for two years all of the tax rates for the middle class as well as for the wealthy. he's getting a lot of grief from a lot of democrats. bernie sanders, the independent senator who caucuses with the democrats is going to be joining ugh in "the situation room." i know you have spoken with him as well. he's very upset about this. we're anxious to hear what he has to say. also austan goolsby who obviously supports what the president is doing, he's joining us as well. so we'll have extensive coverage of what's going on. lots at stake as you know. >> you mentioned republicans, they're already irritated by that comparison, but the
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president was more visibly irritated when he was talking to democrats who still have to agree to this deal. >> it's by no means a done deal yet. harry reid is suggesting there could be some changes yet. but republicans say if you start renegotiating, opening up some of this deal, the whole thing could collapse. unanimously pelosi, the house speaker put out a statement a couple of hours ago that was wishy washy, didn't endorse the deal, didn't reject the deal either. it's problematic what the democrats in the house are going to do. remember this is a lame duck session, the democrats have an overwhelming majority in this house of representatives and the republican also have an overwhelming majority in the next house of representatives. and the democrats are going to lose a net six seats in the congress. >> and then some analysts may say this is also contradict try because this whole compromise,
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when you add it all up, this adds billions to the deficit, and we have heard all these political promises about cutting spending, cutting the debt. >> none of the elements in this compromise, the frame work of the agreement as the president called it yesterday are paid for, extending the unemployment benefits, none of the tax cuts, everything is part of the -- is part of the long-term debt, it's going to increase the debt, the annual budget deficit, by our estimate, the two-year deal is going to cost the american taxpayers in terms of increasing the deficit $900 billion. >> yep, almost up to the t-word, trillion. wolf blitzer, we'll look for you in just a couple of minutes on "the situation room." if you have to pay these extra fees at the airport for all your bags, shouldn't it arrive at its destination on time? that's kind of like the ideal. that is the subject of a number of lawsuits nowadays.
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sunny hosin' is back with us. sunny, what physically is the issue before the court? >> well the issue before the court is whether or not all of these women and there are supposedly a lot of them that were victims of alleged discrimination by walmart, can ban together as a class bring these charges. >> there were six women, walmart says it could end up including every female that has worked for walmart over the course of the past decade. so how much could that cost walmart if the company loses? >> if the company loses, people
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are saying this could cost walmart hundreds of millions of dollars and that is because walmart is as we know the nation's largest employer, they employ 1.8 million people, and that means that over the past ten years as this suit alleges they would have discriminated against 500,000 and 1.6 million women. that's a lot of money when you add it all together, brook. >> depending on how the highest court rules, would this affect, you know, us? any female working anywhere, not just walmart, would this affect employment or how employers treat us, pay us? >> absolutely. we'll are really watching this because, again, the issue is whether or not women can ban together or victims of alleged discrimination can ban together and fight as a class. and this would be one of the largest class discrimination cases ever. >> let's talk about those pesky
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baggage fees, sunny, i know you're back and forth traveling, so i am. we all know about the extra fees we have to pay, right, when we check our luggage, but that doesn't mean that your bags will always arrive at your destination when you do. that is always very frustrating. some passengers are actually taking the airlines to court, what's the story there? >> that's right, and i love this case, brook, i mean who can't get behind this? no one likes paying that $15, $20, $25 to check your bags, it used to be free. passengers are fighting back. they have filed class-action lawsuits for their baggage fees. they're saying if you make me pay for my bag, that bag better be there when i get there. so if i get there and my bag isn't, you've got to give me the money back. i love this case. i say right on to the passengers. >> you say right on to the passengers, but you know the airlines have responded, what are they saying? >> they're fighting the good fight and i have got to say
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their argument is pretty good. they're saying, yes, we have to get your your bag, but not necessarily on time. we just have to make sure they don't get lost. and i spoke to a couple of legal experts about this and they're saying they think unfortunately the airlines may win on thiss, g brook. >> it's the airline's responsibility to get you the bags, not necessarily that it's lost, not necessarily to get you that bag on time. >> that's nothing on the baggage ticket that says the bags have to be there on time. but what it does say is domestic airlines are responsible if they lose your bag to pay up to $3,300 depending on the circumstance. >> forgive me, i want to interrupt you, angie, cnn has confirmed? cnn has confirmed at the age of 61 that elizabeth edwards has died. family is at her side.
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she released a facebook message just yesterday to many of her feel and friends. she had breast cancer. she learned she had breast cancer in 2004. it came back. we also have learned that, you know, she's had this home in chapel hill in north carolina. she's separated from her husband since january, john edwards. there have been reports that he has been in the home along with their three young children. she lost one child in a car accident just a couple of years ago. and she talks a lot about if you read her facebook posting, she talks a lot about resilience and hope. but, again, sad, sad news across the country today. we have now confirmed elizabeth edwards has died. want to turn things over to wolf blitzer in washington with "the situation room." wolf?


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